Council hears report on Prague Estates drainage

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

A discussion on drainage in the Prague Estates 7th Addition, held during the New Prague City Council's October 4 meeting, ended with the council reaching a consensus that the development's drainage system was installed correctly.

The discussion included a brief report on the area by Doug Parrott of Short Elliott Hendrickson (S.E.H.) Inc., the city's engineering consultant.

It was also the consensus of the council that the majority of labor to correct drainage in that area would be up to the property owners.

Parrott noted one area where the city could do some work was at a lot along Ninth Street SE. A drainage inlet could be lowered about half a foot and the ground could be graded so surface water from the east could drain into it. Currently the inlet is at or above existing ground level and stormwater passes by it.

Sixteen people attended the meeting. Most were residents of the housing development, located on the southeast portion of the city. Those who spoke talked about problems they have had with water in their yards. One man noted how he had to dig a small trench to an inlet to drain water.

Parrott said during his report that he had been through the area a couple times with the city's Public Works Director, Dennis Seurer. While walking through backyards he saw standing water and found saturated soil. He said in some areas he felt like he was stepping on a sponge. He noted New Prague's soil tends to be mostly clay, which can cause issues with drainage. Another possible factor is there could be a natural spring in the area.

An audience member asked what could be done if there was a spring. Council member Mark Bartusek said drain tile would work. Parrott added it might require a little more drain tile then usual.

Parrott said it was his opinion the area was graded according to plan. He included in his report several recommendations of what could be done to drain water from yards. These included shaping and grading the land to installing drain tile.

Council member Kristin Guerrette asked if this went back to the beginning of work on that area of Prague Estates six to seven years ago. She felt the drain tile and grading should have been done then. Guerrette felt the city should share in helping fix the drainage.

Some residents have already done some work to fix the drainage. It was noted if the city did go onto private property to do work, the community would have a hard time considering whether to reimburse homeowners for work already done.

Bartusek felt Parrott had done the work the council wanted him to. He noted other cities have done the same type of work and have had the same drainage issues. I feel the city did its part

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